Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 10, 2007
Author: P&S





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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • DP World takes over Dakar terminal


  • SA, US Summit to discuss trade in Africa


  • Viking Islay – a warning to others


  • Iceberg reported off Cape St Francis


  • Ramos rated 14th most powerful woman


  • Pic of the day – AFRICANA






  • DP World takes over Dakar terminal

    Dakar, 9 October 2007 – At a function held in Dakar yesterday, Senegalese Prime Minister Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré handed responsibility for operating and developing Dakar container terminal to DP World.

    Accepting the handover was the chairman of DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

    DP World’s takeover of the terminal operation marks yet further inroads into Africa for the Dubai- based terminal operator, which has rapidly risen to become one of the world’s dominant terminal operators.

    Other DP operations in Africa include the container terminal at Maputo in Mozambique and stevedore functions in South Africa.

    DP World was announced as the successful bidder for the Dakar terminal in June this year. The deal is expected to involve DP World contributing over €500 million through direct investment and participating shareholding by the Port Authority of Dakar.

    In terms of the agreement DP World will take over management of the current Dakar container terminal, Terminal à Conteneur at the end of 2007 as well as being responsible for the development of a new container terminal at Port du Futur.

    The Dubai company has invested more than €115 million to the Terminal à Conteneur and expects to double capacity to 550,000 TEU. DP World says it will operate both terminals with a fleet of nine ship to shore gantry cranes, of which two will be introduced next year and another two in 2009.

    The second phase of the project involves financing, design work, construction and management of the new Port du Futur container terminal, which will be built to a capacity of 1.75 million TEU and will come into operation in early 2011. Port du Futur will receive an investment of €335m.



    SA, US Summit to discuss trade in Africa

    Cape Town, 9 October (BuaNews) - The Corporate Council on Africa's sixth US-Africa Business Summit will see some of the world's top business leaders discussing trade and investment opportunities in Africa.

    The summit, taking place in Cape Town in November, will also include talks on best practices, and how best to grow business in ways that will promote sustainable growth on the continent, reports Southafrica.info.

    South African President Thabo Mbeki will deliver the keynote address at the summit's opening gala dinner on 14 November.

    On the following day, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, along with two other African heads of state and three Chief Executive Officer from top US companies, will form the panel at an opening plenary session entitled "What does it really take for US businesses to invest in Africa?"

    More than 1,500 participants are expected to attend the summit - entitled "Africa: entering the door to opportunities." It will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 14 to 16 November.

    Hosted every two years, this is the Corporate Council on Africa's sixth summit, but the first ever to be held in Africa.

    Corporate Council on Africa president Stephen Hayes, visiting South Africa ahead of the conference, said South Africa had been chosen as host because "we were assured [that] American investors coming to the continent for the first time would be impressed by what they would see.

    "SA has great infrastructure, and that could help them decide to use the country as a springboard for a push into the continent."

    Mr Hayes said Africa remained an unknown quantity for potential US investors because media reports on the continent were overwhelmingly negative.

    Until more US executives were exposed to Africa, he said, the US would continue to miss out on opportunities all over the continent.

    The summit will feature business trade missions led by a diverse pool of US organisations to nearly 30 African countries.

    It will include sector-specific plenary sessions, workshops, business networking opportunities, and a two-day trade expo where businesses will showcase their products, services and capabilities to potential buyers and customers throughout Africa.

    Summit sponsors include the Development Bank of Southern Africa, US firms Chevron, Merck, ExxonMobil, Boeing, 3M, Cargill, General Motors, Chrysler, Hewlett-Packard, The Coca-Cola Company, Lazare Kaplan International, and media outlets New African, African Business, Africa Investor, Corporate Africa, and Institutional Investor.

    In an unprecedented offering, Summit delegates will have an opportunity to explore business prospects in an additional African country, immediately following the Summit in Cape Town.



    Viking Islay – a warning to others

    Three seamen who were painting within a confined space on board a standby offshore tug in the North Sea last week, died from asphyxiation in what has been described as a totally avoidable incident.

    The incident has been described as a tragedy which needs to be shared to help enforce the lessons it brings.

    The marine accident occurred on board the offshore tug Viking Islay which was operating in the BP Amethyst gas field about 25 miles off the Yorkshire coast. Two of the men were tasked to paint inside an enclosed space while a third man was positioned outside the space with BA equipment.

    The two men inside the space were seen to collapse and the third man on the outside of the space tried to make entry but his BA equipment was fouled against the space opening. As a result he removed his equipment, made entry and also collapsed. He was eventually found with his colleagues in the space.

    All three affected crew members, two from Scotland and one from Poland were removed from the space, resuscitation was commenced and they were transferred to the nearest hospital by Coast Guard helicopter. All three were however pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital or not long thereafter.

    According to a specialist involved with the case a number of immediate lessons should be learned:

    Physical incident root cause

    * inadequate ventilation of the space.
    * failure to raise alarm.
    * failure to follow confined space rescue procedures including raising alarm and personnel recovery procedures.

    Systematic root causes are considered to include, but are not limited to:

    * Permit to work system appeared to not enforce regular atmosphere testing.
    * Alternative methods of atmospheric controls were not considered including confined space air hoods / equipment.
    * Rescue equipment not suitable to task and crew members appeared to be inadequately trained and were not aware of limitations of use.
    * Poor JHA / RA conducted.
    * Risk assessment of rescue/ retrieval process could have illuminated deficiencies in equipment selection and use. This should have driven mitigation measures or changes to task allocation.

    The specialist said the tragic accident was totally avoidable but he still found it amazing that offshore workers continue to die in tragic circumstances such as this, particularly when so much is known about the inherent dangers of confined space entry.

    The vessel involved is operated by Vroon Offshore Services, a UK company based in Aberdeen, Scotland, which owns and operates 32 vessels.

    An investigation has been ordered into the accident.



    Iceberg reported off Cape St Francis

    An iceberg has been sighted close off the South African coast south of Cape St Francis.

    No, this isn’t an excerpt from Somebody’s Tall Stories (at least we hope), nor is it likely to be the reason or because of South Africa’s sudden unseasonal cold spell, although certain media have quickly begun to suggest this could be a product of global warming.

    On Monday a fishing vessel named the NTINI operating off the southern Cape coast made the report, saying it had observed an iceberg roughly 25 metres long and 20m high out of the water. Craig Lambinon of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said that the report had to be treated seriously until proved otherwise.

    Lambinon said that a navigational warning to all ships passing Cape St Francis had been issued about the reported iceberg and that an aircraft would be going out to look for it.

    "We received a report from a fishing vessel, called the Ntini, late on Monday which spotted an iceberg 35 Nautical Miles from the Eastern Cape coast. According to the report the iceberg is 25 meters in length and 20 meters in height," he said.

    Lambinon said that while he could not confirm the existence of the iceberg, there had been reports in the 1950s of an iceberg seen in a similar position and there had been other reports of icebergs drifting close to Cape Point near Cape Town.

    The Ntini is due to return to port later this week when reports from people claiming to be eyewitnesses can be taken.



    Ramos rated 14th most powerful woman

    Pretoria, 9 October (BuaNews) - Transnet group Chief Executive Maria Ramos has moved up two places to become the world's 14th most powerful woman in business this year, according to Fortune magazine's latest rankings.

    Ms Ramos was 16th on the American leading business magazine's list last year.

    This year is the fourth time she has appeared on the annual list and on all four occasions her ranking has progressively improved, reports Southafrica.info.

    The former National Treasury director general's entry in Fortune reads: "Ramos (48) led Transnet through a restructuring, including disposing of national airline SA Airways. Her focus is on freight transport, using FedEx as a model. Profits rose 15 percent last year, to $ 1.5-billion, on $ 4-billion in sales."

    Speaking through Transnet spokesperson John Dludlu on Monday, Ms Ramos said she was pleased by the recognition, which she thought should be proudly shared by all Transnet colleagues and its various stakeholders who had contributed to the company's success.

    This was worthy recognition for all women, South Africa and the continent.

    Ms Ramos also believed it was timely recognition for the progress made in transforming Transnet into a world-class freight transport and logistics business, and to position the company as the promoter of economic growth in South Africa.

    Speaking at the Exporter of the Year Awards in Durban last month, Ms Ramos explained the importance of trade in growing the nation's economy.

    "South Africa's overall reliance on trade as a key component of our economy really forms the basis of Transnet's business and our reason for being.

    "We aim to be a key facilitator in this process, and we believe that if we do our job properly, we can provide not only a return for our shareholder, but also a key competitive advantage for the economy as a whole," she said.

    Transnet is transforming into a focused freight transport and logistics company comprising its ports, rail and pipeline assets.

    This refocus, explained the company on its website, is designed to ensure that the company delivers a reliable, consistent, safe and integrated freight service to all its customers; an acceptable rate of return to its shareholder; and is a choice and sustainable employer.

    As a result of this transformation, all those assets or businesses which do not form part or support that strategy of building a world-class freight transport and logistics company are being disposed of either by selling them to the private sector or are being transferred back to the South African government.

    Transnet is investing R78 billion on revitalising and extending its infrastructure (widening and deepening ports; building a new pipeline and buying hundreds of new locomotives) and addressing the maintenance backlog, especially at Transnet Freight Rail, over the next five years.

    The new Transnet is made up of the following operating divisions:

    * Transnet Freight Rail (formerly Spoornet - the freight rail division)

    * Transnet Rail Engineering (formerly Transwerk - the rolling stock maintenance business)

    * Transnet National Ports Authority (formerly the NPA - fulfils the landlord function for South Africa's port system)

    * Transnet Port Terminals (formerly SAPO - managing port and cargo terminal operations in the nation's leading ports), and

    * Transnet Pipelines (formerly Petronet - the fuel and gas pipeline business, pumps and manages the storage of petroleum and gas products through its network of high-pressure, long distance pipelines)

    A growing Transnet is an integral part of the South African economy and an important contributor to the 6 percent GDP target envisaged in the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa.

    "For the future, it is our intention to strengthen our partnerships to derive greater value from our freight logistics system," says Transet.

    "Simply, we are bullish about the Company and confident that it is growing, and that it is poised for further growth in the coming years."



    Pic of the day – AFRICANA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice


    The marine research vessel FRS AFRICANA, flagship of the South Africa’s Marine & Coastal Management, nestling safely in the calm waters of Cape Town harbour. Picture Terry Hutson

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